How to Enroll in Medicare?
Enrolling in Medicare can be done very easily online through the Social Security website, you can also reach them by phone at 1-800-772-1213, or enroll in person at your local Social Security office but online is the easiest way to enroll without leaving your work/home office.
If you are already receiving retirement benefits when you turn 65 then you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. If you are receiving disability benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board under the age of 65, you will automatically be enrolled in Original Medicare once the 24 month grace period has concluded.
In some instances you may be enrolled in Medicare automatically but may not need the coverage immediately or you don't want to pay the premiums associated with certain plans (typically Medicare Part B). If this is the case for you, it is best to contact Social Security for proper instructions on how to "Refuse" coverage. If you already have health coverage through an employer and want to delay your Medicare Part B plan contact one of our Medicare Specialists to understand which coverage is best for you, Medicare or your employers health plan.
Initial Medicare Enrollment Period (IEP)
Although enrolling in Part A or Part B can be automatic, if you manually have to enroll you need to know your personal Medicare Enrollment Period. There is a 7 month window for your initial enrollment period. 3 months prior to the month you turn 65, your 65 birthday month, and the 3 months following.
General Medicare Enrollment Period (GEP)
If you did not enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) then you can enroll during the General Enrollment Period (GEP). You may have to pay a late enrollment penalty if you failed to sign up during the initial enrollment period but you are still eligible to enroll. The General Enrollment Period is from January 1st through March 31st each year.
Special Medicare Enrollment Period (SEP)
This period is meant for people who have deferred their Medicare Part B coverage because they already had health coverage through an employer. The special enrollment period is a 8 month window from when either your health coverage ends or your employment ends. There is no late penalty assessed from Medicare as long as you enroll in Medicare during that 8 month period.
Medicare Part D Plan Enrollment
Prescription Drug Plans can save you thousands in medications costs and we highly recommend them but they are voluntary policies. The enrollment period for Medicare Part D is during the 7 month window of the Initial Enrollment Period when you have enrolled in Part-A. You can delay your enrollment in Part D if you have medication coverage through your employer but you may be subject to a late enrollment penalty if you go without prescription drug coverage for longer than 3 months or 63 consecutive days. If you are looking to add, drop, or change your Prescription Drug Plan you can do this during the Annual Election Period from October 15th through December 7 of every year. Anyone with State or Federal Assistance, such as for prescription drug assistance for example, can enroll or change Part D drug plans during the rest of the year without worry.
Medicare Advantage Plan Enrollment
Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan is a great way to add additional coverage to your Original Medicare Plan. Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan is very easy and can be done during two enrollment periods: the Initial Enrollment Period and the General Enrollment Period.
Medicare Advantage Plans can be added, dropped, or changed during the annual election period- also known as AEP: October 15 to December 7 of every year.
In case you missed the AEP, Medicare added an additional enrollment period called OEP that extends from January 1 through March 31 each year. During this time, Medicare Advantage-eligible beneficiaries will be able to change their Medicare Advantage Plan or elect Original Medicare and coverage under Part D
Medicare Supplement Plan Enrollment
Medigap Open Enrollment starts the month you turn 65 and have Medicare Part B. You have 6 months to enroll without any underwriting. However, if you delay your Medicare Part B coverage because you already have health coverage through an employer, you should push off enrollment into a Supplement plan until you have enrolled Medicare Part B Coverage.
However, once you are 65 and enrolled in Medicare You may enroll or change a medicare supplemental plan at any point during the year. That's right! If you would like to shop for a plan or change to another better suited or lower priced MediGap plan you can do that with one of our especially trained specialists at any point, all year long.
Guaranteed issue right If you miss your open enrollment period, you can also buy a Medigap when you have a guaranteed issue right. If you are age 65 or older, you have a guaranteed issue right within 63 days of when you lose or end certain kinds of health coverage.